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Canadian Divorce Glossary
If you're considering ending your marriage, learning to speak the "language" of divorce in Canada is an important first step. Below you will find a brief glossary of terms related to the separation process. These definitions are overviews, provided to help you begin to understand what is involved in ending a marriage.
Real Estate Appraisals - A real estate appraisal is a way to determine the value of your home or other property. A substantial portion of a married couple's wealth normally consists of the real estate they own. When getting a divorce, it is important to hire an experienced and professional real estate appraiser who can be impartial and arrive at a supportable opinion of value. The reality is that the legal fees involved in arguing about the value of a piece of property can be substantially more than the cost of an impartial appraisal.
Reconciliation - Reconciliation literally means "re-establishing cordial relations." Usually, by the time a couple decides to petition for divorce, they have decided that there is no chance of reconciliation of their marriage. However, a court must refuse a divorce if it finds that there is a reasonable chance that a couple may reconcile.
Reply and Counterclaim - If you’ve been served with divorce papers, you need to respond to them. To do this, you prepare a document known as a “reply.” In your reply, you set out the areas of disagreement with your spouse, as well as any reasons why the court should not grant your spouse what he or she is seeking. If you would like to ask the court for anything, you also will file a counterclaim, which sets out what you are seeking from the court.
Respondent - The person filing the application for divorce is called the applicant, while the other party to the divorce is referred to as the respondent.
Restraining Order - A restraining order is an order issued by the court to prevent a person from doing something. Most people are familiar with restraining orders that keep a violent spouse away from a spouse who has been physically or mentally abused. In family law, restraining orders may also be issued to stop one spouse from traveling out of the jurisdiction with a child, to keep one party from harassing another, and to prevent someone from disposing of assets.